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The French may be about to poke a hole in Einstein’s theory of relativity

While we wait for the voting in Indiana to wrap up, here’s an interesting story we missed from last month. The French are conducting an experiment in low Earth orbit which may at least begin the process of settling a lingering question regarding one aspect of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. How the heck does gravity actually work? (That may sound like a silly question, but we don’t really know.) I first picked up this story by way of a link from the guys at Mysterious Universe – a great podcast, by the way, if you’re looking for something geeky and funny – and it deals with a satellite that French Space Agency CNES just put into orbit.

As reported at Rappler, if this experiment turns out the way some fans of quantum mechanics expect, it could flip our understanding of the physical universe on its ear.

Setting off on a Russian Soyuz rocket will be Sentinel-1B with its Earth surveillance radar, and Microscope, a French-built orbiter seeking to poke a hole in Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

Sentinel-1B is the twin of Sentinel-1A, launched two years ago…

The 130-million-euro satellite will probe – with 100 times more accuracy than has been possible on Earth – the so-called “equivalence principle,” which says that a feather in a vacuum should fall at the same speed as a lead ball.

The experiment will compare the motion of two different objects “in almost perfect and permanent free fall” aboard the orbiting satellite, according to France’s CNES space agency, which financed 90% of the project.

If any difference in motion is observed, the equivalence principle would collapse – “an event that would shake the foundations of physics,” it states on its website.

It all goes back to the question of gravity being absolute in nature. Einstein famously claimed that, in a vacuum, a feather and a lead ball would fall at the same rate. But would they? This experiment is being conducted with two cylinders, one made of titanium and one made with a platinum-rhodium alloy. They will be placed in free fall as the satellite orbits the planet and observed over a period of two years. If Einstein is right, they should behave exactly the same. If they don’t… well, some adjustments to our understanding of the fundamental forces in the physical universe will be in order.

You can find any number of articles in science journals which describe the vast number of things we don’t actually know about gravity. Why is it so weak compared to the other fundamental forces? (There’s at least one theory out there which claims it doesn’t really originate in our three dimensional, visible universe and instead leaks through from a different dimension or a parallel universe.) How does it propagate? Is it a property of mass or actually a property of all of space and time?

Don’t stay home refreshing your browser waiting for the answers. This experiment will, as I said, run for a couple of years and then scientists will no doubt be fighting over and challenging the results for a long time after that. But it would be nice to start getting some answers to these questions. We’re probably not going to get very far toward inventing a usable warp drive if we can’t even define what gravity is.

Einstein Laughs

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/05/03/the-french-may-be-about-to-poke-a-hole-in-einsteins-theory-of-relativity/

Hot Air/Townhall live primary coverage: Indiana; Update: Live video embed added

What other day would combine the JFK assassination with Back to the Future Part II and the National Enquirer? This has to be Indiana’s primary election day, or some horrible parallel universe … not unlike Back to the Future Part II, come to think of it. Tonight at 6:30 pm ET, Hot Air and Townhall partner up for election-night coverage on Facebook Live, with Katie Pavlich and yours truly the co-hosts. With Ted Cruz and Donald Trump holding nothing back, we’re going to let it rip, too!

The polls close at 6 pm in Indiana … no matter which time zone you’re in. That’s right — Indiana is split between ET and CT, and even has a few ET communities that don’t use Daylight Saving Time. Since we believe that Indiana may release ET results even while the western part of the state still has polling open, we will begin our live-stream coverage at 5:55 ET, and plan to go 90 minutes. We’ll tackle the data from the exit polls, discuss the late-breaking stories, and provide the precinct reports through our own Townhall Election Center. You can watch either on our Hot Air Facebook page, or on the Ustream portal for The Ed Morrissey Show page. See you there!

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/05/03/hot-airtownhall-live-primary-coverage-indiana/

The Hoosiergeddon “Hot Air and friends” Indiana primary livetweet extravaganza

It’s our biggest livetweet event ever, the night we get to cover what’s left of conservatism dying in real time. The widget is embedded below for your enjoyment. Suspense builds: Will the networks call the state promptly for Trump at 7 p.m. ET or will it take a half-hour or so?

While we wait, some ominous odds and ends for you about the general election to come: Trump’s “far behind” the Democrats already in building a national organization; new registration by Democrats in Nevada, a theoretically winnable state for the GOP this year, is outpacing Republican registration two-to-one; and in case you’ve forgotten, Hillary merely needs to win the 19 states (and D.C.) that have gone Democratic in each of the last six elections plus Florida in order to clinch 270 electoral votes — and according to the latest Florida poll, she leads Trump there by 13 points. No sweat.

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/05/03/the-hoosiergeddon-hot-air-and-friends-indiana-primary-livetweet-extravaganza/

PPS REPORT! Chief Joseph Riverwind!

watchers 10 pre-order

$20.00 + sh

*Additional shipping fee on International shipping may apply

It’s finally here! The Watchers 10 – Pre-sale! I know some of you think I’m hyping this but honestly what we have to show in this film is off the hook. I’m having trouble getting my head around some of it. All I can say is, We’re on the Trail!

Our Monthly news magazine PPS is packed with articles and commentary from some of the best authors today. Cris Putnam, Richard Shaw, Tony Kail, Fritz Zimmerman, Pastor Caspar McCloud are regular contributors. The PPS News Magazine comes as a PDF file in your email! Don’t miss out on this great offer.

We’re also asking those of you who believe in what Richard Shaw and I are doing with this ongoing Watchers film series to contribute to the productions cost. The cost of the Watchers films come out of our pockets, we’re not the History Channel!  LOL!  Thanks for considering it and helping out.


Article source: https://lamarzulli.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/pps-report-chief-joseph-riverwind/

Indiana: Trump 49, Cruz 34, Kasich 13

For Republicans, Wednesday will be a very special day indeed, my friends.

At long last, the Day of Recriminations is nigh:

Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters — followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin in Indiana holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on a glide path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July…

The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll was conducted April 26-28 — so mostly after Trump’s six-consecutive primary victories in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, as well as after Cruz and Kasich announced an alliance/truce, whereby Kasich wouldn’t campaign in Indiana to help Cruz (in exchange for Cruz not campaigning in Oregon and New Mexico).

But 58 percent of likely Republican primary voters in Indiana say they disapprove of Cruz and Kasich teaming up to beat Trump in the Hoosier State, while 34 percent say they approve of the move.

No other poll of Indiana has showed Trump that far ahead, but he leads comfortably in (almost) every survey and it’s entirely possible that his lead has begun to widen as undecided Hoosiers make up their minds. The other newsy number from the poll is, of course, the evidence that the Cruz/Kasich alliance has backfired, but even if you could force Kasich out of the race and redistribute his voters by second choice, Trump still wins easily:

What does this mean for the rest of the primaries? Read this post from a few days ago for the delegate math. Assuming Trump wins New Jersey and takes most of West Virginia’s delegates, both of which are almost sure things, he’d need something like 130-150 delegates combined from Indiana and California to hit 1,237. Given how well he’s been polling in blue states, it’s possible that he’ll win 150 in California alone; there are 172 at stake there and it’s winner-take-all by district, so Cruz and Kasich would have to win at least eight districts statewide to hold him below the target number — even if he gets nothing from Indiana. If instead Trump wins Indiana, which would likely net him somewhere between 45 and all 57 delegates, he may go into California on June 7th needing fewer than 100 of the 172 delegates in play. Cruz and Kasich would need to win half the state’s districts or more to stop him despite the fact that the momentum in the race is entirely on Trump’s side and many anti-Trumpers in the party leadership are throwing in the towel. Cruz needs to win Indiana just to have a fighting chance of stopping Trump in California. If he can’t, why bother fighting to the bitter end?

Team Cruz is asking themselves the same question, per Politico:

In interviews, several aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity, expressed growing alarm that Cruz would lose Indiana’s primary on Tuesday — an outcome that would be a major blow to his hopes of holding Trump below the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination on the party convention’s first ballot. The aides concede that, without a win in an Indiana primary where 57 delegates are at stake, Cruz’s shot at the nomination would significantly narrow…

Within the campaign, some are turning to the question of what’s next. One senior aide said there had been no discussion about dropping out before the final primary contests are held on June 7 but noted that Cruz wouldn’t be eager to prolong a campaign he was convinced he couldn’t win

Cruz is also likely to face growing pressure from party leaders, many of whom are eager to begin the process of uniting a divided party ahead of what will be a challenging general election. In recent days, several state party chairs have held private discussions about rallying behind Trump if he wins on Tuesday.

This is what it looks like when the last resistance to a presumptive nominee finally begins to collapse. It’s not just party chairs who are whispering about swinging behind Trump: The NYT is out with a story this morning about how some of the delegates that Cruz is claiming to have won at state conventions lately aren’t as solidly behind him as he might think. The more momentum shifts to Trump, the more likely it is that soft Cruz supporters will shift to Trump too in the name of party unity behind the presumptive nominee. I’ll stick with my prediction from earlier this week for now. Cruz won’t drop out on Tuesday night if he loses but any sign after that that he’s about to lose one of the “gimme” states that are still on the board for him — Nebraska on May 10th, Montana and South Dakota on June 7th — will probably be the final straw. I wonder, in fact, what’ll happen if we get a couple of polls late this week showing Trump up in Nebraska. Will Cruz hang in there for the primary or will he take those polls as a sign that it’s all over and quit beforehand? If he does end up losing Nebraska, I think he’ll pull the plug immediately afterward. It’s very hard right now to see how we end up with a contested primary in California six weeks from now.

We’ll have plenty to busy ourselves with during the Day(s) of Recriminations following Indiana as Cruz figures out what to do. To start the fun off early, enjoy this series of tweets by Jay Cost about the complete collapse in Republican leadership in opposing Trump and Trumpism. His starting point is Mike Pence’s lame endorsement of Cruz last week (which Trump, predictably and understandably, is now laughing about), but it’s a party-wide failure; in fact, given Mitch Daniels’s stunning silence in Indiana this week, Pence isn’t even the guiltiest Hoosier. We’ll spend the rest of the year and then a decade or two after that debating why the institutional GOP didn’t put up more of a fight, but one deep truth is the theory proposed by Carl Cannon and Jeff Blehar, among others — namely, that Republican politicians had more to fear long-term from the “Cruz model” than the “Trump model” of insurgencies. Trump had the right message at the right time with the right kind of celebrity and a preternatural savvy about how to dominate media coverage, all of which combined to give him an advantage over professional outfits like Cruz’s that rely on tight organization and sophisticated data analysis. And yet, if a few things had broken differently in the campaign, he still might have found himself shut out on the first ballot in Cleveland. “Trump is sui generis,” the John Boehners of the world can tell themselves, “and he got lucky. There’ll never be another like him.”

There can, however, be other Ted Cruzes, and the more there are, the bigger the headache will be for congressional Republicans. The Cruz strategy is straightforward: Get elected to the Senate as a populist ideologue; once there, excoriate your colleagues as sellouts and disrupt whenever possible; then run for president touting your record of disruption. Cruz will end up having gone further with that approach than 15 other candidates this year, including every Republican governor who ran. His strategy can and will be replicated. Party leaders forced to choose between Trump and Cruz over the past month had to have realized that lining up behind Cruz on grounds that he’s a solid conservative and obviously more fit for office than Trump would also mean signaling to future Cruzes that they too could expect party support if they lasted long enough in a primary against an unpalatable choice. They could, in fact, even hope to become the party’s nominee for president. So most of them sat quietly while Trump advanced and now a bunch of them, like Jon Huntsman, are starting to chatter about party unity behind the nominee, all of it designed to help Trump put Cruz away. You can predict the establishment spin to come: Grassroots conservatives can’t win. Grassroots conservatives who attack their colleagues in Congress really can’t win because they’ll be starved of endorsements. Tea partiers finally had the guy they wanted running with a populist political climate nationally to propel him and they couldn’t even beat an amateur like Trump. It’s time to give up on ideologues and realize that only moderates stand a chance of being nominated, even if that moderate is himself running a populist campaign, as Trump is. The establishment can live with an insurgency like that, however reluctantly. That’s why Cruz never got support from the party, even when it was long since clear that he was the last hope of stopping Trump. Let that be a lesson to you, conservatives!

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/05/01/indiana-trump-49-cruz-34-kasich-13/

In Seattle, the trash man can’t poke around in your trash anymore

Good news, Seattle residents. Big Brother won’t be poking through your trash cans out by the curb anymore.

Well, technically that’s not true. The cops and other law enforcement agencies can still do it. In many cases your neighbors can too. But if you happen to violating the city’s new recycling and compost laws, the trash collectors won’t be able to open up your McDonald’s bags to see if you finished your McRib. (Seattle Times)

It is in Seattle that the constitutionality of the city checking what was in that teriyaki carton in your garbage became a court case.

On Wednesday, King County Superior Court Judge Beth Andrus ruled that what was in that carton stays private.

She ruled that the city’s ordinance allowing garbage collectors to look through people’s trash — to make sure food scraps aren’t going into the garbage — was “unconstitutional and void.”

She entered an injunction against its enforcement.

“I’m thrilled as can be,” said Ethan Blevins, attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of eight Seattle residents.

This case probably wouldn’t be all that interesting if we weren’t talking about Seattle (which is only marginally to the right of Portland, Oregon) and the question of privacy outside the boundaries of your home. The law under discussion is one which Seattle passed to mandate the composting of food waste, essentially saying that you had to put all of your leftovers in with your lawn clippings and other “yard trash” rather than bagging it up with your other, non-recyclable garbage. The question of enforcement immediately arises in a situation like this of course. Who is going to ensure that you haven’t put the corn cobs from last weekend’s BBQ in with the diapers and ripped t-shirts? Absent some suspicion of other, more sinister criminal activity it’s unlikely the cops want to spend their day doing it, so the only obvious choice is to have the trash collector checking your Hefty Bags.

Not so fast, at least according to the judge in this case. That’s private material and the government doesn’t need to know what you’ve been eating or having anyone engaging in “food shaming” at your expense. Really?

Let’s leave aside for a moment the idea of the municipal government regulating your trash bags at that level. How can you ban an inspection of this sort? It’s already been long established in the courts that trash in a can inside your house is as private as any of your other possessions and John Law needs a warrant before they can look at it. But anything you put out on the curb is beyond the curtilage of your property and you have no reasonable expectation of privacy once you leave it out there for pick-up.

So what is the judge basing this decision on? Is it that the trash collectors aren’t cops so they can’t just go looking through your garbage for information? Private citizens can sometimes simply take things which are left out on trash day, though the rules vary from state to state and even by municipality. (In New York City, for example, you can take things from the trash if you are walking, but not if you load it into a vehicle. Hey… don’t ask me. I just work here.) But the people loading the trash trucks are either municipal employees or private contractors hired by the local government to do precisely that in most cases, so it’s tough to see what bars them from examining the contents.

Seattle passes some crazy laws and this is just another example. But still, I’d be curious to see what a higher court would say on appeal if this ruling were challenged. As far as I know, once you put something out on the curb on trash day it’s pretty much fair game.


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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/05/01/in-seattle-the-trash-man-cant-poke-around-in-your-trash-anymore/

#NeverTrump is the business of principles

Yesterday, Jazz hammered George Will’s argument that conservatives should stop a Donald Trump presidency even if he becomes the GOP’s nominee. It was his close that caught my eye, however, and led to a request (and his gracious approval) for a guest post refuting the idea that not backing nominee Trump “is the business of cowards.”

Here’s what Jazz wrote:

And none of this touches on the fact that each and every Republican and conservative reading his advice will have to walk into a voting booth on November 8th, close the curtains, stand alone in the darkness and… vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As for me, I prefer to win, or at least go down swinging. Surrendering the battle for the White House uncontested is the business of cowards and I want no part of it.

Back at CPAC, I told PBS (which misidentified me as a Rubio supporter) that I would never back Trump in the general election. Trump’s liberal policies — including, but not limited to, not tackling entitlement reform, support for abortion, and opposition to free trade — make him nearly as unfit for the White House as Hillary Clinton. Add that to his shamefully boorish behavior, and the “lesser of two evils” argument implied by Jazz and others should be woefully inadequate to the task of convincing anyone that America’s decline under Trump would be substantially slower than under Clinton.

And while Will’s argument isn’t the best, he’s right that Republicans should focus on stopping Trump while pushing for victories down the card. Concentrated efforts to maintain conservative and GOP holdings across the country would help mitigate the disaster that would be either a Trump or Clinton presidency.

Perhaps most importantly, however, contrary to Jazz’s contention that those of us too principled to vote for a narcissistic charlatan are “cowards,” Will put it well that it’s the GOP sell-outs who are the truly spineless:

Donald Trump’s damage to the Republican Party, although already extensive, has barely begun. Republican quislings will multiply, slinking into support of the most anti-conservative presidential aspirant in their party’s history. These collaborationists will render themselves ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction.

Exactly. And while #NeverTrump is probably going to go down swinging in defeat — party influencers are abandoning it in droves, and grassroots conservatives at CPAC weren’t fans — for me this is just the latest effort to use defeat as a way to propel the GOP in a conservative direction.

In 2008, I convinced myself to vote for John McCain for president after three months of careful consideration — only to watch in unmitigated shock as he partnered with Bush and Obama to use Main Street’s dollars to bail out the banks. I ended up conducting a write-in vote because of McCain’s support for TARP.

In 2012, I was faced with a similar problem — do I vote for Romney — the first GOP presidential nominee to run an ad touting his support for abortion, whose opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the HHS abortifacient/contraceptive mandate were huge question marks in my mind — in order to stop a second Obama term?

In the end, after eight months of prayer and thought, I again conducted a write-in. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in a decade of politics. I made it literally in the voting booth, but I applied the advice of a priest who explained to a Bible study group that a Catholic’s vote should go to the candidate who would best swing the dial in the Catholic direction.

Since Romney would merely slow the pendulum’s swing away from Catholicism, not stop or reverse the direction, I again conducted a write-in. (To be fair, the priest was actually encouraging a “lesser of two evils” vote.)

This is now the third election cycle in which my voting decision has, to paraphrase Jazz, been accused by some of collaborating to put a Democrat in the White House. In fact, a different priest said in 2012 that I committed a sin by not backing Romney against Obama due to the anti-Catholic HHS Mandate.

If I had simply not voted, those critics would be right. But by conducting a write-in vote, I am making clear to party bosses, candidates, and others that I want to send a worthy candidate to the White House. They just have to put one forth.

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/05/01/nevertrump-is-the-business-of-principles/

Watchers 10 – Pre-sale!

watchers 10 pre-order

$20.00 + sh

*Additional shipping fee on International shipping may apply

It’s finally here! The Watchers 10 – Pre-sale! I know some of you think I’m hyping this but honestly what we have to show in this film is off the hook. I’m having trouble getting my head around some of it. All I can say is, We’re on the Trail!

Our Monthly news magazine PPS is packed with articles and commentary from some of the best authors today. Cris Putnam, Richard Shaw, Tony Kail, Fritz Zimmerman, Pastor Caspar McCloud are regular contributors. The PPS News Magazine comes as a PDF file in your email! Don’t miss out on this great offer.

We’re also asking those of you who believe in what Richard Shaw and I are doing with this ongoing Watchers film series to contribute to the productions cost. The cost of the Watchers films come out of our pockets, we’re not the History Channel!  LOL!  Thanks for considering it and helping out.

Article source: https://lamarzulli.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/watchers-10-pre-sale/

No, Marco Rubio didn’t say he opposes a contested convention

I got suckered by an out-of-context quote on Twitter, as did others, and figured it’d be my good deed of the day to make sure that no one else does. Here’s the quote, from the Tampa Bay Times, that caused me to fall off my chair:

Marco Rubio appears to be warming up to Donald Trump, saying Friday his “performance has improved significantly.” Rubio has also continued to withold an endorsement of Ted Cruz, even though he previously praised him as the conservative in the race…

And Rubio, who continues to hold onto more than 100 delegates, has warned against a contested convention.

“Look let’s not divide the party. You have someone here who has all these votes, very close to get 1237, let’s not ignore the will of the people or they’re going to be angry. Delegates may decide on that reason that they decide to vote for Donald Trump but if they don’t it’s not illegitimate in any way,” he told Miami radio host Jimmy Cefalo.

“I’ve always said I’m going to support the Republican nominee, and that’s especially true now that it’s apparent that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat nominee,” Rubio said.

W-w-w-what? Marco Rubio, who gave the most stirring anti-Trump statement of the campaign impromptu at a press conference just six weeks ago, now wants to throw in the towel before the primaries are over? The only chance conservatives have of stopping Trump is on the second ballot at the convention, and now the guy who went around calling him a con man for weeks thinks we can’t risk having people get angry by denying him the party’s support? W-w-w-w-w-w-w-what? Is Marco going to introduce Trump at the convention? Are we — my God — looking at a Trump/Rubio ticket perchance?

So I tracked down audio of the quote. It turns out he said this on a radio show more than a week ago. Breitbart picked it up a few days later, emphasizing the same “Let’s not divide the party” bit that the Tampa Bay Times seized on, which makes it sound like Rubio was articulating his own personal opinion. But he wasn’t. Listen to the audio below, starting at around 5:40, and you’ll see that he’s presenting this as an argument that Team Trump could (and will) make to the delegates, not an argument that Rubio thinks should prevail. Here’s a better transcript, with quotation marks to distinguish Team Trump’s opinion from his own:

I think the argument is, that Trump is making, is “This game is, just like the economy,” he’s saying, “the politics is rigged.” Well, I wouldn’t call it rigged — I mean, these are the rules. He knew the rules, or should have, going in, number one. I do think it’s valid to argue to delegates, “Look, let’s not divide the party. You have someone here who has all these votes, very close to get 1237. Let’s not ignore the will of the people or they’re going to be angry.” And delegates may decide that, on that reason, they decide to vote for Donald Trump. But if they don’t, it is not illegitimate in any way. It is, you know, that’s why we elect delegates. That’s the meaning of being a delegate, is choosing a nominee that can win.

Pretty clear once you see the whole quote. Rubio is warming to Trump in some ways, reiterating elsewhere in the clip that he’ll support the nominee against Hillary, but he’s not arguing against a contested convention. What probably happened is that the writer of the Tampa Bay Times pieces went looking for material online to support his “Rubio’s caving to Trump” thesis, found the Breitbart piece, and reproduced the quote verbatim without checking the original audio. Turns out Rubio’s still open to deciding the nomination on the convention floor. And why wouldn’t he be? That’s the point of keeping his delegates bound to him on the first ballot — to keep them away from Trump in case he needs a few to clinch.

I still think he’s going to end up making a speech at the convention urging party unity behind Our Leader. But then, so will Cruz. Gotta stay on everyone’s good side for 2020!

Related Posts:

Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/29/i-hope-we-dont-ignore-the-will-of-the-people-at-a-contested-convention-says-marco-rubio/

Great news: One of six F-35s capable of alert launch in Air Force test

Earlier this week, the Department of Defense told Congress that it planned to conduct war games this year between the venerated A-10 Warthog and the F-35 platform that will eventually replace it. It’s tough to win a game — or a battle — with most of your assets on the ground. The Pentagon informed Congress in a separate communication that only one of six F-35s in an alert test in Idaho could get off the ground at all.

That’s no big deal, of course. Unless your national security strategy relies on fast-response aircraft, that is.

Five of six Air Force F-35 fighter jets were unable to take off during a recent exercise due to software bugs that continue to hamstring the world’s most sophisticated—and most expensive—warplane.

During a mock deployment at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, just one of the $100 million Lockheed Martin F-35s was able to boot its software successfully and get itself airborne during an exercise designed to test the readiness of the F-35, FlightGlobal reports. Nonetheless, the Air Force plans to declare its F-35s combat-ready later this year.

Details surrounding the failed exercise were disclosed earlier this week in written testimony presented to Congress by J. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester.

Gilmore also reported that another test went awry when the software failures forced two F-35s to abort their mission. Rather than improving, the software problems have gotten worse — at least for the Air Force’s F-35 platform. The Marine Corps platform has its issues, too:

Perhaps more troublesome for the F-35 program, overall, is the fact that software stability seems to be getting worse. U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs loaded with an earlier version of the software are reportedly the most stable, enjoying up to eight hours between “software stability events,” military lingo for glitches in one of the aircraft’s computer programs. The Marine Corps has already declared its F-35s combat ready, though Gilmore acknowledged that in real-world combat the F-35B would require assistance acquiring targets and avoiding threats.

If they have trouble acquiring targets and avoiding threats, then the definition of “combat ready” seems to have fallen victim to a strange type of grade inflation. What kind of combat doesn’t involve target acquisition and/or avoiding threats? Apparently, the Marine Corps is just happy that their F-35s can get off the ground.

Clearly, $100 million doesn’t buy much for the Pentagon these days. Don’t forget that while the comparison these days is to the soon-to-be-decommissioned A-10s, the F-35 was the replacement for the F-22 — a lower-cost alternative as opposed to the $150M price tag on the F-22. The last F-22 rolled off the Lockheed/Boeing line five years ago, but had capabilities that “cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.” The decision to halt F-22 production was made seven years ago, when the Pentagon expected the F-35 to arrive in 2010 and reach operational levels by 2012.

How’s that working out for us? We’re four years down the road from that promised target, and the F-35 still can’t acquire that one either. The Pentagon better not put the A-10s in mothballs any time soon.

Related Posts:

Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/29/great-news-one-of-six-f-35s-capable-of-alert-launch-in-air-force-test/

Confirmed: Gen. James Mattis will not run for president as an independent

I wrote about Mattis’s chances last month so read that if you’re interested in whether this could have worked or not. (Not.) The threshold problem was this: What was in it for Mattis? Why would an esteemed Marine commander, who’d avoided petty politics his whole life, decide to become a candidate in a race in which he had no chance of winning a single state? This was never going to be an Eisenhower situation where the Republican Party recruited him and handed him the institutional infrastructure needed to run a national campaign. He was going to need to build it himself, as an amateur, at the highest level, without any plausible path to victory. Either he would have crippled Trump’s chances, in which case his legacy would be “handed the presidency to Hillary Clinton,” or he would have been a nonfactor in the race, in which case his legacy would be “powerless to stop the Trump circus.” A man who’s served his country honorably for decades deserves a better legacy than that.

So, no go, although there is news here. Turns out Mattis was thinking harder about this than most people knew.

Two allies of Mr. Mattis sent emails to associates on Friday notifying them that the retired general had closed the door on a campaign. William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, said Mr. Mattis had decided “after much consideration” not to proceed…

Joel Searby, a Republican strategist involved in laying the groundwork for a potential Mattis campaign, wrote in a separate email that Mr. Mattis had “decided definitively not to pursue a run for president.”…

In private, Mr. Mattis, 65, was receptive to political overtures: During a visit to Washington last Friday, he met with a small group of strategists supportive of his entry into the race and discussed the election, according to people familiar with the meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the private session.

Kristol was asked about Mattis on “This Week” last weekend and noted that Mattis is a “social liberal,” which would have made him a not-entirely-perfect match for rock-ribbed conservatives who are disgusted with Trump and want another option. How conservative is Mattis, exactly? A distinguished military career, which he has in spades, can compensate for a lot of ideological heresies, but not all of them. If he’s pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, and supports expanding gun control (I don’t know that he takes any of those positions, I’m just speculating), how many #NeverTrumpers would have backed him this fall?

Which brings us to an important point. If the “Stop Trump” crowd is serious about recruiting a third-party candidate (which I don’t think they are, but whatever), they need to decide up front if they’re going to make a play to win or if their goal consists entirely in siphoning off votes from Trump and denying him any chance at the White House. Whom you recruit will vary wildly depending upon which goal you’re pursuing. If you’re trying to win by somehow denying 270 EVs to both Clinton and Trump, which would send the election to the Republican House, logically you need someone who can steal at least one red state and one blue state. That means a centrist, and that’s why Mike Bloomberg’s third-party chances were, at least on paper, a bit better than most prospective independents. He would have won some votes from both parties. By contrast, someone like Tom Coburn, whose name has been floated as a potential anti-Trump independent candidate, would win conservative votes exclusively and therefore would achieve nothing except splitting Republicans with Trump, enabling a Clinton victory. Which is fine for some blocking Trump is the mission, whatever the cost, and a Coburn type would help with that. Actually electing a third-party candidate is a way more ambitious mission, and almost certainly impossible. And it comes with a risk for anti-Trumpers: If you make a play for the center, there’s a chance you’ll pull more votes from Hillary than you will from Trump, which would increase Trump’s chances of winning. Bloomberg stood a chance of doing that, in fact, to the point where Trump said publicly he hoped Bloomy would run. If your top priority is keeping Trump away from the presidency, backing a centrist is a gamble that backing a Coburn-type isn’t. Know your goal before you start the mission.

By the way, apropos of nothing, I continue to think David Petraeus would have been polling very, very well right now, especially on the right, if he hadn’t torpedoed his career with that scandal. He has what Mattis sorely lacks, widespread name recognition. “If he could get Iraq under control,” people would have said, “he can do it for America.” The guy blew an enormous opportunity, which I’m sure he never saw coming, when he strayed. I wonder how often he thinks about it.

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/29/confirmed-gen-james-mattis-will-not-run-for-president-as-an-independent/


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Article source: https://lamarzulli.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/mix-up-with-acceleration-radio/

Former Speaker Hastert sentenced to 15 months in prison

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for trying to conceal hush payments to children he sexually molested while he was a high school coach. Scott Cross, one of Hastert’s teen victims, testified that Hastert abused him when he was 17-years-old. NBC News reports:

“I’ve always felt that what Coach Hastert had done to me was my darkest secret,” the father of two told the judge, adding that he was not sure until he took the stand that he could bring himself to talk about the incident.

“I wanted you to know the pain and suffering he caused me then and still causes me today. Most importantly, I want my children and anyone else who was ever treated the way I was that there is an alternative to staying in silence.”

In all, Hastert was accused of molesting four different teen boys, but charges for sexual molestation could not be brought because the statute of limitations had expired. Hastert’s attorneys were seeking probation, arguing that the 74-year-old who had a stroke recently was too ill for prison. However the judge exceeded the recommended guidelines for the crime of trying to conceal hush money transactions, which would have resulted in no more than 6 months in jail.

The Chicago Tribune reports Hastert agreed in court for the first time today that he had abused the boys he coached:

Hastert’s attorneys helped him out of his wheelchair and he shakily used a walker to move over to a microphone, where he read from prepared notes. Hastert apologized to those he victimized, saying he “mistreated athletes.” Durkin then pressed for details, asking directly if Hastert sexually abused the victims.

“Yes,” Hastert finally said…

“What I did was wrong and I regret it,” Hastert said. “They looked to me and I took advantage of them.”

Some former members of Congress wrote letters to the court on Hastert’s behalf. CNN reports:

“He is a good man that loves the Lord,” wrote former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. “He gets his integrity and values from Him. He doesn’t deserve what he is going through. I ask that you consider the man that is before you and give him leniency where you can.”

The defense received 60 letters of support on behalf of Hastert. However, when the judge in the case announced he would only consider letters that were made public, 19 of those letters were withdrawn.

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/27/hastert-sentenced-to-15-months-in-prison/

Open thread: Cruz announces Fiorina as Veep choice Update: It’s official, and Trump responds

4:48 – That was fast. The Ted Cruz for President website has already been re-directed to CruzCarly.com with a snazzy new logo reflecting the just-announced ticket:



4:35 PM – “After a great deal of consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice presidential nominee Carly Fiorina,” Cruz said in his lengthy introduction of Fiorina (still going on at this time.)

Trump responded to the leaked news with a Tweet which included a video of Fiorina saying Cruz “is just like any other politician. He says whatever he needs to say to get elected.”


The clip is from an appearance Fiorina made on CNN’s State of the Union the first week of January, a month before the Iowa Caucus.


At this hour, Sen. Ted Cruz is set to formally announce former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate should he somehow secure the GOP nomination in a contested convention in Cleveland.

Earlier today, Reuters confirmed a report from WMUR, the ABC affiliate in New Hampshire, that Cruz’ “major announcement” would be the announcement of Fiorina for VP:

As Allahpundit pointed out this morning, Fiorina is the natural choice for Cruz. What’s unusual, of course, is that Cruz is making the announcement without the benefit of actually being his party’s nominee. It’s pretty rare for a candidate to choose a running mate three months before the presidential convention. It’s even rarer for the candidate currently running in second place and mathematically eliminated from the possibility of securing enough delegates to be the nominee without a floor fight.

Townhall’s Guy Benson thinks the move looks like a “Hail Mary”:

This maneuver has the stench of a ‘final throes’ spasm from a campaign that fears it is doomed. If Carly defies the odds by breathing life into the Cruz effort, rallying him to victory Indiana, then proving herself to be a real asset in California, this will look like a stroke of genius in hindsight. Color me skeptical.

Check back on this post for updates including video of the announcement and Fiorina’s remarks plus analysis as it rolls in. We’ll also update with Donald Trump’s reaction which is sure to be, colorful.


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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/27/open-thread-cruz-announces-fiorina-as-veep-choice/

Great news from Trump: I’m going to use things Bernie Sanders said against Hillary

Via the Free Beacon, why wouldn’t he? They’re both populist Democrats. They’re bound to agree on lots of things.

Hillary will repay this in spades, needless to say — Marco Rubio’s “con man” critique of Trump is bound to be near the top of her list — but it’s not a bad strategy for Trump to follow. Most Republicans will mindlessly support him no matter what policies he pushes in the general election. If he goes out there at the first debate and says that workers should own the means of production, well, that’s just proof of how blue-collar he is at heart, isn’t it? If you’ve got 40 percent of the vote locked up due to pure tribalism. why not try to find another 11 percent by pandering to fans of a guy who beat Hillary across the map this year preaching “democratic socialism”? Rant about Wall Street, demand a living wage, attack Hillary for being a corporate puppet (even as Trump inevitably starts collecting big checks from wealthy Republicans to fund a national campaign machine this fall) and let the chips fall where they may. If Trump was facing a charismatic candidate like Obama like this fall, I’d already be looking to 2020. Facing a weak, unlikable, scandal-burdened candidate like Hillary gives him a shot, though. Might as well kiss off whatever is left of the conservative movement and embrace class warfare as only a billionaire can. (Wait until Elizabeth Warren and Bernie himself eventually join Team Hillary and start unloading on Trump as a corrupt plutocrat.) Or at least, that would be the smart play. The way Trump’s talking here, he’s not going to go after class anxieties so much as Clinton’s “right to run” and her “bad judgment,” which seems like a not-so-great topic for a guy who’s declared corporate bankruptcy more than once, been a tabloid staple for 30 years and who’s said out loud that he’d issue illegal orders to the military. Maybe we should start talking about 2020 after all.

Interestingly, on the morning after Trump’s biggest win of the campaign, at a moment when their confidence in winning in November should be bursting, some Trump fans are looking past the general election too and preemptively blaming #NeverTrumpers for a defeat this fall. Huh. Don’t even want to wait to see what the margins are before deciding that anti-Trump Republicans were the cause, eh? Here’s the dirty little not-so-secret about #NeverTrump: It’s a niche movement. It’s chiefly a coalition of conservative activists and members of conservative media. Yes, granted, there are plenty of Republican voters who say in exit polls that they’ll never vote for Trump, but some polls show comparable numbers who say so for Cruz. There are always tons of dead-enders who vow in the midst of a bitter primary campaign that they won’t support the nominee and who end up doing so anyway. #NeverTrump could have been a force if Cruz had faded sooner, leaving Trump’s critics to look in earnest for a third-party challenger, but Cruz hung around long enough to make that difficult for purposes of ballot access. They’re reduced now to floating longer-than-longshot names like Gen. Mattis, who may not even be a conservative. If Trump loses, as he likely will, it won’t be because of #NeverTrump, it’ll be because he’s currently the most staggeringly unpopular major-party (likely) nominee in modern American political history. It was no small feat for Republican voters to start off with a field this big and talented and somehow find a guy who’s less popular than Hillary Clinton, but darned if Trumpers didn’t do it. If you want to blame someone for a looming blowout, blame the people who overlooked one general election poll after another and chose the guy who best channeled their rage. But most won’t do that. Trumpism is a nationalist movement, after all, and nationalist movements require scapegoats and stabbed-in-the-back narratives the way the human body requires blood. #NeverTrump is simply the most convenient scapegoat right now, a pretext for justifying the reorientation of the GOP as a non-conservative, and in some ways anti-conservative, vehicle. No wonder Trump’s eager to borrow from Bernie’s playbook.

Exit question: If, as seems likely, Gary Johnson emerges as the Libertarian Party nominee and therefore the main draw for committed #NeverTrumpers, could that actually come back to haunt Hillary? Like I say, the #NeverTrump vote will be small and almost certainly won’t matter given the probable size of Hillary’s victory, but you never know. A stock market dive or terrorist attack could produce a close race. Stranger things have happened. (Well, no. Nothing stranger than a Trump/Clinton race has ever happened.) In that case, Johnson siphoning off votes from Trump could be crucial for Hillary. But a true libertarian like him also risks attracting pockets of young voters who went all-in for Bernie and grew disillusioned with Hillary over the course of the Democratic primary. Right now she’s utterly destroying Trump among young voters, but she may need those wide margins to stay wide in order to hold onto a narrow victory overall. If Johnson lands a spot at the presidential debates spouting Sanders-esque rhetoric about breaking up the banks and legalizing drugs and protecting abortion rights, he may pick up a few anti-Hillary protest votes too, which would potentially neutralize Trump’s losses among anti-Trump righties. If you’re a #NeverTrumper who’s intent on blocking Trump from the White House at any cost, you’re better off with a dogmatic conservative with little appeal to the left as your third-party option than a heterodox figure like Johnson.

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/27/great-news-from-trump-im-going-to-use-things-bernie-sanders-said-against-hillary/

Rotting From Within.

Rainbow White House

Commentary Analysis


L. A. Marzulli

We are rotting from within. We are a society and a culture that focuses on the absurd and ignores common sense, which has become extremely uncommon. Let me explain. Prince died a few days ago and the media acted like we lost a modern-day Beethoven. With all due respect, Prince was hooked on drugs, he was an occultist, and like David Bowie, he was androgynous, which is an active part of the occult world where gender is blurred and the satanic motto of do what thou will reigns supreme.

Now enter the current bathroom fiasco, that has taken center stage. We are over 19 trillion dollars in debt, with no way to pay it back, and this is what we focus on? The so-called rights of a man dressing up in woman cloths to use the lady’s room. This is what is important? This is what steers the national conversation? Shame on us.

There have been upward of 60 million babies killed in their mothers wombs in this country and 1 billion world-wide and yet, we are told by the likes of Hillary Clinton, who is running for the highest office in the land, that these unborn babies, our future generation, have no rights until they are outside of their mother’s womb. Yet, just today, scientist told us what many of us in the Pro-life movement have stated for years, that there is an explosion of light when sperm enters the egg and it is fertilized. In short, life begins at conception.

Our young people and students want free stuff. They expect the government to give them free education, free services, free tampons, free everything. These young “Bohemians” are clueless and are in for a big surprise when the house of economic cards begins to collapse. They will discover that those of us who paid our hard-earned money in taxes, to a out-of-control-Big government can’t uphold the nanny-state any longer and our business fold and so does the tax base. How many people in this country are out of work… 92 million people?

We have over 600 military bases all over the globe. How can we possibly maintain this military hegemony when we are trillions in debt. Then there are our blood and treasure, our young men and women coming back from the ongoing war in Afghanistan. The suicide rate, of these combatants, is alarming, yet our President focuses on bringing Syrian refugees into this country. Why not help our own first? Of course if we have a different opinion than inclusion of so-called refugees—some of whom are terrorists—somehow we are labeled Islamaphobic.

Drug addiction in rampant and Re-hab has become an all-to-familiar word in every family. Yet, the southern border remains porous and the poison cooked up by the drug cartels continues to come across our borders, affecting almost every family in our country.

Prayer is not allowed in the classroom, yet an introduction to Islam is being taught in some grade schools.

Our Super Bowl halftime shows have become blatant, in-your-facce occult spectacles.

Judgement is coming to this nation. We need to pray for mercy and take a stand. The churches need to come together. The hour is very late. We are rotting from within.

In short, we are living in the time of the birth pains, the time that will give birth to the tribulation. This is why we need Jesus; for the only way out of this mess is up! Maranatha.

drudge_florida_marzulli_2Days of Chaos?




Article source: https://lamarzulli.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/rotting-from-within/


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April 25- Invading Enemy Territory Part 2- ‘The Source of Your Captivity’

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Editor of gay rights magazine hacked to death in Bangladesh

Earlier this month I wrote about the string of brutal murders that have taken place in Bangladesh over the past two years. An Islamic extremist group has made it their mission to target bloggers who espouse secular views, hacking them to death in the street with machetes.

Monday there was another attack in the capital city of Dhaka. Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of Bangladesh’s first gay rights magazine, was murdered along with a friend.  CNN reports:

Mannan and someone described only as a friend were in a flat in Dhaka when five or six young men posing as couriers arrived at Mannan’s building under the guise of delivering a package, said Mohammad Iqbal, officer in charge of the Kalabagan police station.

They entered the second-floor apartment and hacked Mannan and his friend to death with machetes, Iqbal said. Mannan’s mother and a maid were also in the flat at the time, he said. Both are alive.

Mannan also worked at the U.S. Embassy and the Embassy released a statement saying, “We abhor this senseless act of violence and urge the Government of Bangladesh in the strongest terms to apprehend the criminals behind these murders.”

Suspects have not been identified or arrested yet but the pattern suggests the murder is connected to the previous string of killings. Along those lines, Fox News reports a detail that didn’t make it into the CNN story:

According to a man who told local broadcaster Somoy TV that he had witnessed the attack, at least five young men took part in the killing and chanted “Allahu Akbar,” or “Allah is Great” as they left the scene.

Mannan’s death follows that of a University professor who was killed on the street Saturday at a bus stop. From CNN:

The killings come a day after Bangladeshi police detained a university student in the hacking death of 58-year-old Rezaul Karim Siddique, an English teacher at Rajshahi University.

Rajshahi police Commissioner Mohammad Shamsuddin said the student wasn’t charged and it remained unclear whhy Siddique had been stabbed in the neck as he awaited a bus to take him to campus Saturday.

Ansarullah Bangla, the group believed to be behind many of the recent killings, published an international hit list last year. The list included writers and bloggers in the UK, Germany and the United States.

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/25/editor-of-gay-rights-magazine-stabbed-to-death-in-bangladesh/

Bad news from Trump: I’ve never seen a human being eat more disgustingly than Kasich

A funny bit from today’s rally via the Free Beacon but also one that’s useful at the margins to #NeverTrumpers, I think. The Cruz-Kasich alliance may last but I wouldn’t bet on it. Even in a best-case scenario where it holds through the end of the primaries, Kasich will discover quickly in Cleveland that (a) he’s not going to be nominee, (b) that being so, his strongest play is for VP, and (c) he’s probably better off as Trump’s VP than Cruz’s. As Cruz’s VP, Kasich would be sidelined as a squishy moderate, trotted out occasionally only when Cruz needs a liaison to Congress. As Trump’s VP, he’d be the voice of experience in the administration and would be in a position to fill the vacuum in Trump’s policy knowledge with his own preferences. What’s encouraging about this clip if you’re anti-Trump is that Trump might just insult the famously thin-skinned Kasich into adopting a #NeverTrump position himself. It’s an awfully dumb thing to do given that Kasich will be able to help put him over the top on the first ballot, but you know Trump. Displease him and he’s going to lash out.

Speaking of which, where does this fit into the new, more sober and “presidential” image that’s supposedly in the works? He’s still holding off on that, huh?

“You know, being presidential’s easy — much easier than what I have to do,” he told thousands at a rally in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “Here, I have to rant and rave. I have to keep you people going. Otherwise you’re going to fall asleep on me, right?”…

“When I’m out here talking to you people, I’ve got to be different,” Trump said…

Trump revived his “birther” criticism of Cruz, which he has previously used to suggest the Texas senator is ineligible to run for president because he was born in Canada. Cruz’s mother is an American citizen, and most experts say that Cruz is eligible.

“Rafael! Straight out of the hills of Canada!” Trump declared, referring to Cruz by his given name.

Here’s how his lawyer celebrated the transition to presidential-ness that Paul Manafort swears is coming:

His new putdown nickname for Kasich is “1 for 41 Kasich,” which, let’s face it, is as clumsy as “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” are unmemorable. Why not “Slobby John”? “Little Marco” wasn’t bad insofar as any shot at a man’s stature is a blow to his male pride, but Trump’s insult game has palpably deteriorated ever since Jeb Bush left the race. No one brought out the artist in him the way “low-energy Jeb” did. In fact, per Michael Dougherty, it’s partly because of that that Trump’s going to be stuck being Trump for the rest of the campaign whether Manafort likes it or not:

In a way, Trump followed the exact opposite ethic of his former nemesis. Jeb Bush said that a Republican candidate should be willing to lose the Republican primary in order to win the general election. Dutifully, Bush lost the primary. Trump has done the opposite — he was willing to lose the general election to win the primary. He used every trick he had for generating free media, and whipping up the intense support of about one-third of the Republican electorate in the primary contests. It just so happens that he did this in a way that cost him the chance of ever winning over the enthusiastic support of the rest of the party apparatus, and any chance of winning a normal general election campaign.

Becoming an establishment creature now would dispirit many of Trump’s core supporters. It would wreck any momentum his candidacy had at renovating the Republican Party’s stale ideology. Trump will have worse problems than even Mitt Romney did in trying to explain the convenient evolution of his views. Trump’s unreliability extends even to his own stunts. Months ago he skipped a Fox News debate to raise $6 million for veterans. They haven’t seen the money.

I think Dougherty’s underestimating how much of a “transformation” Trump’s fans would tolerate in the interest of winning. The alt-right’s put up with him praising Israel and telling the world how much he loves Mexicans; his broader fan base will put up with him sounding more like a traditional candidate — if he’s capable of that. The motivation in both cases is the same: They believe that the “real Trump” is the one who says the stuff they like, with anything he says to the contrary dismissible as a tactical lie designed to make him more electable. As Stu Burguiere put it, Trump tells his base that they’re seeing the real him now and that he’ll be putting on act in the general while he’s telling the establishment that he’s putting on an act now and they’ll be seeing the real him in the general. But maybe Dougherty’s right that Trump fans will only take so much. After all, Trump superfan Ann Coulter grumbled a few days ago that she hated the more low key Manafort-trained Trump. It wasn’t until he started mimicking Indian call-center operators at a rally this weekend that she brightened up about him again. That’s a good lesson for the Trump campaign. If he really is going to try to be more presidential this fall, a little light ethnic mockery from time to time will go a long way.

In other news this afternoon, it looks like Trump has landed the Bob Knight endorsement because, really, who else was a guy like Bob Knight going to endorse?

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/25/bad-news-from-trump-ive-never-seen-a-human-being-eat-more-disgustingly-than-kasich/

Report: White House close to releasing “part of” 28 pages on Saudi Arabia

We previously discussed our rapidly fracturing relationship with Saudi Arabia and the difficult time the White House seems to be having in dealing with it. Part of the trust issues which are arising here have to do with those mysterious 28 pages from the 9/11 report which allegedly deal with the Saudis and contacts which the hijackers may have had in this country. The administration seems to have been loathe to release the documents to the public for fear of endangering our special relationship with them, but after mounting pressure in the media, at least one report suggests that Barack Obama may be coming around and considering letting us all in on the big secret… sort of. (ABC News)

The Obama administration will likely soon release at least part of a 28-page secret chapter from a congressional inquiry into 9/11 that may shed light on possible Saudi connections to the attackers.

The documents, kept in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol, contain information from the joint congressional inquiry into “specific sources of foreign support for some of the Sept. 11 hijackers while they were in the United States.”

Bob Graham, who was co-chairman of that bipartisan panel, and others say the documents point suspicion at the Saudis. The former Democratic senator from Florida says an administration official told him that intelligence officials will decide in the next several weeks whether to release at least parts of the documents. The disclosure would come at a time of strained U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, a long-time American ally.

I’m not here to shoot down Bob Graham’s sources or completely belittle the idea, but this scoop seems to have a few weak spots to say the least. First of all, it’s from an unnamed source who is allegedly an “administration official.” That could mean anything from the Director of National Security to the guy who picks up Josh Earnest’s dry cleaning. And even if it’s actually somebody in the know, it’s equally possible (if not probable considering how much scrutiny the subject is receiving) that this was an intentional leak put out there by the White House as a test balloon to see how it was going to be received.

But let’s say for a moment that the story is legit. They’re only willing to say that the White House is willing to go as far as “considering” whether or not to open the barn door some time in the next several weeks. Considering is not the same thing as deciding and several weeks in the political world could just as easily mean after the election.

But once again making the bold assumption that it’s actually going to happen, the source is careful to say that the proposed release, if it happens, might include “parts of the documents.” As far as what that means, your guess is as good as anyone else’s I suppose. Will we get three or four pages with tantalizing clues about the hijackers having gotten financing or other material support from XXXXX XXXXX with the names redacted? The only value I can see to that scenario is for the conservative punditry. Failing to release something if the information is truly sensitive and could endanger allied operations or personnel if it gets out of the bag is completely understandable, but we’re talking about events which took place fifteen years ago. If there are Saudis still alive somewhere (even in our country) who were directly involved in the attacks and we haven’t already locked them up or unleashed a few wet boys on them I’d certainly like to know what our excuse is.

So in the end, I’m willing to give Graham the benefit of the doubt here. If the administration is going to release something shortly I’ll be more than happy to read it, but rest assured that I’m not getting my hopes up. This administration – much like Hillary Clinton – treats anything which is merely politically embarrassing as if it were classified at the highest level. Well… in the case of Clinton I don’t mean she puts it on a private bathroom server, but you get the point.


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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/25/report-white-house-close-to-releasing-part-of-28-pages-on-saudi-arabia/

Black Eyed Kids – PPS Report!

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Sen. Grassley: FBI investigation of Clinton email server could leak if there is ‘political interference’

Senator Chuck Grassley says if there is political interference with the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private mail server the information uncovered during the investigation could be leaked. The Des Moines Register reports Grassley made the statements at a Rotary Club breakfast on Friday:

“Is there going to be political interference? If there’s enough evidence to prosecute, will there be political interference?” Grassley wondered aloud during a breakfast meeting with the Des Moines A.M. Rotary club on Friday. “And if there’s political interference, then I assume that somebody in the FBI is going to leak these reports and it’s either going to have an effect politically or it’s going to lead to prosecution if there’s enough evidence.”

When Grassley was asked if he meant to say the FBI should leak the investigation he clarified his statement:

“I wouldn’t be encouraging it because if it’s a violation of law, I can’t be encouraging a violation of law,” he said. “This is kind of my own opinion, this is something I’ve heard.”

Something he’s heard? From whom? Grassley doesn’t say but one possibility is that he heard this from sources close to the FBI investigation.

This is of course speculation but consider that we’ve already had suggestions that sources with knowledge of the investigation believe there is enough evidence to prosecute Clinton. Back in January Catherine Herridge reported:

One intelligence source told Fox News that FBI agents would be “screaming” if a prosecution is not pursued because “many previous public corruption cases have been made and successfully prosecuted with much less evidence than what is emerging in this investigation.”

Later the same month Herridge reported an intelligence source saying there was “incredulity” about what was “being discovered.” And more recently we’ve seen former FBI agents write a letter to Director Comey urging him not to let politics interfere with the case, as if there was some ambient concern, perhaps filtering to them from current agents, that interference might happen.

Again, all of this is reading between the lines, but it does appear there is some sense within the FBI that the evidence is there to move forward assuming political influence doesn’t win the day. And if so, this may be a sort of warning from the rank-and-file who don’t want politics taking precedence here. The message is: you won’t be able to bury this.

Ultimately, if Clinton is innocent there will be nothing damaging for anyone to leak. But if there is convincing evidence of corruption and/or negligence, Americans probably should know about that before the election.

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Article source: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/23/sen-grassley-warns-fbi-investigation-of-clinton-email-server-could-leak/

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